With the Tamil Nadu government and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) signing the final document to bring Madras under the global Sustainable Cities Programme (SCP), key environmental concerns will now become a part of development planning for the city.
The UNDP will provide a grant of US $605,000 over 2 years to strengthen local capabilities at the Madras Metropolitan Development Region for environmental planning and management.
The agreement was signed in July end by Hans-C Von Sponeck, resident representative, UNDP, G N Haldea, joint secretary (technical cooperation), department of economic affairs, Union ministry of finance, and L N Vijayaraghavan, secretary, housing and urban development department, Tamil Nadu.
The development plans for the Madras Metropolitan Development area comprising of the jurisdiction under the Municipal Corporation of Madras, S other municipalities, several nagar panchayats and village panchayats, are being prepared by the Madras Metropolitan Development Authority B (MMDA). Working groups will be I created to identify priority issues, , strategies and action plans.
Under the project, the UNDP will provide funds in the fields of environmental management, urban management, institutional development and sustainable cities programme adviser, besides study tour and fellowship training of MMDA officials. Assistance to NGOs to carry out smallscale projects to tackle environmental problems in lowncome settlements is also envisaged.
The MMDA will be assisted by the United Nations Centre for Housing and Shelter. Madras is the only south Asian city to be included in the SCP along with 9 other cities in Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe.